I was on Twitter for a long time before it became valuable to me. I blame the Blathering for getting me hooked. Before then, I followed people, read their stuff, but didn't really interact with anyone. Now, I can spend the majority of a day talking about things that I have no one else to talk about with--with ladies I've either never met, or only met once, but I talk to regularly enough that it isn't at all weird to ask questions about personal stuff like giving birth. And I thought, MAN! How did people live without the internet? How did we manage without the immediacy of advice available from my Twitter feed?
Oh yeah... they lived in multi-generational communities and talked to people that they lived and worked with. So, Twitter is my knitting circle.
I mean, I have real life friends of many ages who I can turn to with questions and get advice and help from. And I do! They taught me how to do a 4-strand braid, and make bread, and jam, and better hard-boiled eggs. They've given me advice and suggestions on morning sickness, heartburn, some other h-related pregnancy symptoms, feeding this baby from my boobs, getting her to sleep, how to deal with gas. And all with the understanding that maybe none of it will work for me, but better to have the knowledge and have it fail than be totally clueless. My sister-in-law has 6 kids--she's an incredible resource. I have my mom and my grandmothers around to ask about things like how to sew stuff and why would anyone press a tablecloth when it's not on the table and what's baking powder for and stuff like that.
I talked to my mom about birth too. She's done it twice and two different ways (drugs & natural) and so, you know, has knowledge and opinions about stuff. But that was still 30+ years ago. Some things have changed. My close friends who've given birth recently both had planned C-sections, so while they have LOTS to tell me about taking care of tiny people and what tools are handy and what worked for them there, when it comes to labor... they didn't do it. By doctor's orders, and I am in NO WAY saying that they are somehow less or not as awesome as women who have labored. I wouldn't say that because that is dumb. They still suffered discomfort and indignity to get their internal babies into the outside world and no one should BRAG about any kind of birth at all. That bothers me. If I do it, smack me with a tuna, or a marlin, or some other big sport fish, ok? Havin' a baby is havin' a baby. It's different for everyone and blah, blah, blah, you know all this. Soapbox put away.
So, barring unforeseen complications arising between now and then, there are no plans for this baby to come out like toast (best description of a c-section ever, thanks K!). That being said, I want to know what it *might* be like. No way to know what it WILL be like until I'm there, but... I like to be prepared. I get that there is a line at which too much information becomes a bad thing and might stress me out and freak me out unnecessarily and all that, but I still want to know stuff. The hospital class we took was very informative and all, but I wanted to hear from people I know--what was it like for you? What do you wish you knew before hand? What's worth worrying about and what isn't? This is how I got into a day-long discussion of what happens to your undercarriage during and after birth. With people that aren't really strangers, but... I only know through the internet mostly. Were there some scary stories out there? Oh yeah! The phrase "stem to stern" was used. I blinked more than a few times at some of the descriptions and advice given. I laughed out loud at an inappropriate time at my office at one description and couldn't even explain why, because most of the words used aren't really office friendly, and "meat grinder" out of context just isn't as humorous as it was at the time.
And all this got me thinking--not about my undercarriage, but about my Twitter friends. I have somehow managed to stumble upon a pocket of rational, reasonable, diverse and respectful people--ON THE INTERNET! Mostly women. It's not just some mutual admiration society where everyone likes everyone else and we all sit around stroking each other's egos. That sentence seems grammatically awkward and I can't figure it out. Moving on.
These women are awesome. There are disagreements. If I say something that someone else has a different view point on, they will say so--but there's no drama! I mean, I haven't seen any, so don't start any now. We're doing so well. I'm talking 100 women, give or take. That's crazy and amazing and wonderful. I have so much experience and information available at my fingertips. Anecdotal advice and recommendations. Sympathy and suggestions. I've learned so much from these ladies. SO MUCH! They're not saints. I mean, there is complaining and some snarkiness and sometimes they talk about tv shows I've never seen using abreviations I don't understand and I have to google a lot of the people they talk about, but that's how I learn stuff.
I really don't have a snazzy conclusion here. I just... like my Twitter people a lot.